Friday, 20 January 2017

20 January 2017

With the start of a new year, the Spring Term at Bolton School has begun and already there is lots going on across the Foundation.

Over the Christmas holidays, Year 13 pupil Arron Davies was away at the World Junior Water Skiing Championships in Chile, where he won silver after being narrowly beaten to the gold individual medal by his British teammate! He has also returned with a team bronze medal.

The Girls' Division has been ranked among the best in the country with the publication of the Department for Education's GCSE League Tables! The Girls' Division has placed in the top 100 schools, independent and state, nationally, and has performed well in terms of both the percentage of pupils achieving at least 5 C grades or better at GCSE, including Maths and English, and by English Baccalaureate (EBacc) results.

Head Girl Zoe Stirzacker has achieved her ATCL Diploma in Saxophone. This is a remarkable achievement for someone of her age.

The Year 7 boys enjoyed a fascinating assembly with two visitors from the Octagon Theatre in Bolton, who talked to them about the process of directing a play. They made reference to the Octagon's production of Cinderella, which many of the boys enjoyed watching with School at the end of last term.

Year 9 pupil Anna Phillips has been selected to play on the GMCSFA squad for a match in February.

Two Year 7 pupils also have achieved sporting success. Poppy Donohue has been selected for the U13 Lancashire County Cricket squad, and Alice Leary has been called up to the U13 Greater Manchester Hockey squad!

Th Junior Boys enjoyed a musical morning with Travelling by Tuba. They were whisked around the world, using only music and their imagination to travel from the Swiss Alps to an African river, and far beyond. They were also delighted to be able to play some of the unusual instruments that the musical duo brought into School to show them!

On 26 January at 7pm, Bolton School will host a free event 'In Conversation with Evelyn Glennie'. Click here for further details about this wonderful opportunity to hear from this famous percussionist. Everyone is welcome to come along.

Tickets are now on sale for the Year 8/9 Joint Production of Wonder: a student-devised promenade performance based on R. J. Palacio's international bestseller of the same name. For further details and how to book, click here. The performances will take place 2-4 February at 7.00pm.

A production of When The Eye Has Gone, a play following the tragic decline of former England and Northamptonshire batsman Colin Milburn, will visit Bolton School on Wednesday 1 March 2017 at 7.30pm. Tickets are available to all at a cost of £10, and further details about the show (including how to book) can be found here.

This week's Inspiring Mind is Gill Pearl, an Old Girl who attended from the Junior School to the Sixth From (1967-1977). She has a background as a speech and language therapist and worked for the NHS, but left in 1996 to work in the voluntary sector. Since then, she has become Chief Executive as Speakeasy, a charity supporting people with aphasia, and in 2016 both Speakeasy and Gill herself were recipients of a number of awards. Her profile celebrates her time at Bolton School and offers advice to current pupils for the future.

Friday, 16 December 2016

16 December 2016

As the term drew to a close, the whole of the Foundation prepared for Christmas.

The festivities began with the inaugural Christmas Celebration Concert, held in the Arts Centre and featuring the Friends of Bolton School Choir and a number of school ensembles. This lovely occasion showcased a variety of musical styles and gave plenty of opportunities for the audience to join in with Christmas favourites!

Click here to watch the Friends of Bolton School Choir perform 'Angelicus' at the Christmas Concert, or click here to listen to the whole of the Christmas Concert via the School's SoundCloud.

The Junior Girls held a Winter Warmer Christmas Concert, which brought together all of the elements of the festive season. The girls spoke and sang about decorations, festive foods, Christmas traditions and the story of the Nativity over the course of the concert, to the delight of their parents and families.

The whole of the Junior Girls' Winter Warmer is available to watch online: Part One, Part Two.

The Junior Boys' Carol Service offered a host of musical delights. Well-known carols such as 'Once in Royal David's City' and 'O Come, All Ye Faithful' bookended the evening, with performances from the Lower School, Upper School and Chamber Choirs and the massed voices of all the Junior Boys providing highlights throughout the evening.

Click here to listen to the Junior Boys sing 'Silent Night' in Chinese, French, German and English via the School's SoundCloud.

This year's Ceremony of Carols in the Girls' Division had a literary theme. The festive readings included extracts from from Cider with Rosie and Hamlet, and the Middle School Choir performed a song adapted from a poem by Anne Brontë. The musical pieces were performed beautifully by all of the Choirs, and made for an enchanting evening.

Click here to watch all of the performances recorded at the Ceremony of Carols.

The Boys' Division Christmas Festival was an evening of musical delights from the Choirs and orchestra. The soloists gave great performances and all of the Choirs were in fine voice. Christmas carols played by the orchestra and accompanied by the massed voices of the audience were a wonderful way to celebrate the time of year. Readings and reflections, including a meditation from Rev. Tranter, also recalled the true meaning of Christmas.

Click here to watch all of the performances recorded at the Christmas Festival.

Children in the Butterfly and Caterpillar Rooms at the Nursery put on a wonderful Nativity show for their parents and family members. The children had worked really hard with Nursery staff to learn several songs, which made this a lovely occasion.

The Senior Girls held a Christmas Jumper Day prior to the end of term. They came into School sporting their best festive dress, some even wearing reindeer antlers or tinsel headdresses, to raise money for Save the Children.

The Sixth Form Boys also held a Christmas Jumper Day, filling the Riley Centre and Boys' Division with festive cheer! The boys' efforts supported the Zac Vali Foundation.

As the end of term drew near, the Girls' Division rang with laughter as the Year 10 pupils put on their annual Christmas Post assembly. They then spent the last few days before the end of term selling sweets and cakes, and of course delivering Christmas cards, to raise money for Christies.

Children in the First Steps and Tweenies rooms at the Nursery enjoyed a magical Christmas-themed sing-along with Rhythm Time. They played lots of different percussion instruments and sang along to songs like 'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer' and 'When Santa Got Stuck Up The Chimney'. Parents and family members were also invited along to this event, making it all the more enjoyable for everyone.

Year 12 girls met the ambitious target of collecting 1,300 mince pies and 1,300 cartons of brandy or rum sauce for the 'Saucy Mince Pies Challenge' in support of Urban Outreach's Christmas Hampers. The girls had just three and a half weeks to raise funds and collect donations, but were not deterred by the short deadline and managed to pull together enough pies and sauce to fill all of Urban Outreach's hampers this year.

Beech House has once again collected toys for the Bolton Lions Big Christmas Toy Appeal. Parents, pupils and staff at the Infant School donated a mountain of toys to the cause, which will be given to over 1,000 young people in the Bolton community.

The Junior Girls' Winter Warmer concert held a retiring collection for the charity Retrak, which they had also supported earlier in the term. Gill Lee came into School to tell pupils about her recent trip to Ethiopia with the charity, during which the girls' previous fundraising money was spent, and to accept the Christmas donation.

Pupils in Blackburn House in the Boys' Division chose to support The Blackburn Food Bank this term, and in particular around Christmas time. The boys brought in donations of food items, which they handed over to volunteers from the food bank on the last day of term.

Two Junior Boys recently took part in a fencing competition where they defeated stiff competition from seven rival schools to triumph.

The first Boys' Division vs Girls' Division archery competition took place in the final week of term. Archers from both Divisions lined up in the Boys' Division Gym to compete, with both teams making a good effort. The Girls' Division emerged victorious on this occasion. There are plans to make the competition a half-termly event in the School calendar.

Boys' Division pupils in Year 8 were really pleased to meet Tilly, the trainee Guide Dog they sponsored through fundraising efforts last year. The Golden Retriever/German Shepherd cross visited the Riley Centre with her puppy walker, where she met with Year 8 representatives. At the age of 13 months she will go to the Atherton Training Centre to begin her Guide Dog training.

A team of four Boys' Division Sixth Form pupils have made it through to the Area Final of the Bank of England's Target 2.0 challenge! This competition asks students aged 16 to 18 to analyse economic conditions and then set the interest rate to meet the Government's target. They were the clear winners at the Northern Heat and are now looking forward to the next stage of the competition.

Sixth Form pupil Maria Kettle joined the Boys' Division Hockey Team for the first time.

Pupils in Year 12 in both Divisions took part in the Business Challenge Final as the term drew to a close. Four teams went head-to-head, pitching their business plans before a panel of judges in the style of Dragons' Den. The three judges were very impressed with all of the pupils' ideas, but particularly with the overall winners on the night: Tranquillow.

The annual Gymnastics Floor Exercises Final took place on the last day of term. This competition, which sees Year 7 boys compete for a trophy which is over 100 years old, saw the eight finalists perform their gymnastics routines in front of the whole of Year 7, with the P.E. staff as judges.

Three Boys' Division Sixth Form pupils have been selected for the U19 National Water Polo Squad. Also joining them in the squad along is an Old Boy, who plays alongside them at the City of Manchester Water Polo Club.

This week's Inspiring Mind is Old Boy Stuart Brooks, CMG OBE, who attended the Boys' Division from 1956 to 1966. He read English at Cambridge, representing his college on University Challenge during his time there. He embarked upon a distinguished career in the Diplomatic Service which saw him travel around the world. His fascinating profile recalls his career highlights, memories of drama at Bolton School, inspirational teaching staff, and some good advice.

Monday, 12 December 2016

9 December 2016

Years 1 and 2 at Beech House, Bolton School's Infant School, began the Christmas celebrations with their traditional Carol Concert. They told the story of the Nativity through a series of beautiful songs, with special treats such as a French carol and soloists singing 'Away in a Manger'.

Not to be out-done, the Reception children also put on their Nativity with great confidence. The children told the Christmas story themselves, interspersed with beautiful singing, acting and dances.

Children at the Nursery enjoyed a wonderful Christmas Party with their families last weekend. This fun-filled event saw them enjoy entertainment and featured a very special visit from Father Christmas!

Boys' Division pupils in Years 8 and 9 were taken on a journey to the summit of Mount Everest by author, documentary filmmaker and adventurer Matt Dickinson. He talked extensively about his experiences on the highest mountain in the world and how climbing Everest has inspired his writing of fiction and non-fiction books.

Almost 900 pupils witnessed the wonders of chemistry in the Boys' Division Great Hall as Bolton School once again hosted the Royal Society of Chemistry's Christmas lecture. Boys' and Girls' Division pupils were joined by children from twenty-one other schools for this special event.

Priya Guhathakurta and Luke Cavanaugh in Year 12 have been selected to join Cowgill Holloway's Future Stars programme. This special work placement scheme which will allow them to experience a variety of departments at the Bolton based accountants and business advisors over the course of this year.

Year 7 pupil Lucy Dixon has won the annual Salford 100s lifesaving competition. She took part in the challenge against sixty-two girls from the Bolton area and came out with the best time following two lifesaving challenges.

Coco Jones in Year 5 has appeared on stage at Manchester Opera House in an adaptation of George's Marvellous Medicine! This is Coco's second theatre role, and she really enjoyed the whole experience.

Girls' Division pupils took advantage of the wonderful deals on offer at the Scholastic Book Fair which was held in the Library this week. They really enjoyed perusing the books and finding something to read.

On 26 January 2017, Bolton School will host 'In Conversation With Evelyn Glennie', a free evening event with this famous solo percussionist which is open to the public. This will be the next in a series of Arts and Sciences lectures organised by the Girls' Division.

This week's Inspiring Mind is Old Boy David Mohyuddin, who is now Vice Chairman of the Governing Body. After leaving Bolton School he read Law and was called to the Bar by Lincoln’s Inn in 1999. His profile recalls his fond memories and inspirational teachers.

Friday, 2 December 2016

2 December 2016

This week, the Girls' Division welcomed poet Lemn Sissay for an emotional evening of readings and recollections. He offered a series of mesmerising poems from his new collection Gold from the Stone, as well as giving a moving and personal account of his life. This was a very special event for all who attended.

The Boys' Division has achieved its goal of raising £10,000 for charity through the sponsored walk to Rivington Pike which took place at the end of the summer term. Twenty charities will now receive donations of £500 in recognition of the school's 500th anniversary.

Year 12 pupils in both Divisions recently took part in the annual Business Challenge Day. In mixed teams, they took on the task of coming up with a new business proposition which they then had to pitch to a panel of judges after just one day to come up with a complete, working business plan. The judges were very impressed with the pupils' efforts. The four winning teams will take part in the final in early December.

Five Bolton School boys have been selected for ISFA teams this year. Two pupils made it through to the National U16 and U18 sides, while three boys in Year 8 have been selected for the North West team.

Girls from nineteen  local primary schools took part in an exciting STEAM Day in the Girls' Division as part of the School's Primary Liaison Programme. The Year 6 pupils took part in Science, Technology and ICT, Engineering, Art and Maths workshops on the day, all of which were themed around the Olympics and Team GB. From finding out how much energy is in food to creating their own desk tidy to take home, there were lots of new activities for the girls to try, and they enjoyed taking part in this inspiring event.

A group of Sixth Form linguists recently competed in the Northern Schools' Modern Foreign Languages Debating Competition. Five pairs took part, debating a variety of complex topics in French, German, Spanish and Russian, with the German team progressing all the way to the semi-finals.

Guitar teacher Jon Gyjlaci will be featured on BBC Radio 3's 'In Tune' drive-time programme. He is going to play live and give a short interview at shortly before or after the 6 o'clock news on Monday 5 December.

Boys' Division pupils have enjoyed browsing and buying from the Book Fair this week. Following the success and popularity of the Book Fair last year, the library staff decided to host it once again, and the boys have been really enthusiastic in taking advantage of the wonderful deals on offer.

Friday, 25 November 2016

25 November 2016

The highlight of the week was the final talk of the Tillotson Lecture Series, which was given by Old Boy and six-time 24 hour solo mountain bike racing World Champion Chris Eatough. Titling his address 'Long Distance Learning', he spoke about his life since leaving Bolton School and the lessons he has learned throughout his mountain biking career, offering an exciting insight into his sport.

Chris's full address and the question and answer session can be viewed in three parts: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

Chris also found time during his visit to Bolton School to talk to the elite athletes in the Girls' and Boys' Divisions, and to address the Junior Boys and Girls. The pupils had lots of pertinent questions for Chris and were delighted to have the opportunity to talk to such a successful sportsman.

The Junior Girls got involved with the 'Big Spotacular' for Children in Need last week. They added spots and spotty accessories to their uniforms and made a donation when they came into school on the day. They made over £360 to give to charity.

Girls in Year 9 raised over £1,000 for Children in Need by putting on a series of cake and sweet sales over the course of a week. Girls' Division pupils gave generously to the cause in exchange for the delicious treats and raised lots of money for charity.

The Senior Concert Band has won a Platinum Award at the North's Regional Festival of the National Concert Band Festival, held in Oldham. The group of Boys' and Girls' Division pupils performed a challenging and mixed programme of pieces which impressed the judges on the day. They have now qualified to play at the national finals in April!

A group of Year 13 linguists enjoyed debating a wide range of challenging topics at this year's MFL North West Debating Competition. Three pairs of girls debated in Spanish, German and French, with the Spanish team making it all the way to the semi-final to go head-to-head with their rivals on the topical subject of Brexit!

The Year 10 girls recently enjoyed taking part in their Film Day, which was spent learning how to make films for themselves. They took part in a series of workshops with the Young Film Academy before putting together their own short films. Following a screening of all the films, one winning group received an Oscar for their efforts.

Year 10 pupil Cate Lord has been selected for the Manchester Thunder Netball Development Squad after playing well in two sets of trials.

Young Thai Kickboxing champion Marcus Williams in Year 7 has become the Double English Open Champion. This follows him becoming the World Junior Champion just last month.

This week's Inspiring Mind is Old Boy Irving Wardle, who attended the Boys' Division from 1940 to 1947. He fondly remembers his time at the School, including his teachers Bill Brown and Frank Greene.

Friday, 18 November 2016

18 November 2016

Last week, plasma physicist Dr Melanie Windridge gave a fascinating lecture about the science behind the aurora, or northern lights. Talking about her own personal journey as she researched this phenomenon, she mentioned the places, people and stories she has encountered during her travels as well as explaining the physics that cause the auroral displays to light up the skies at night.

Bolton School water polo coach Mr Andy McGinty has been awarded the British Swimming Water Polo Coach of the Year Award. Mr McGinty, who divides his time between the School and the City of Manchester water polo club and has also done international duty, was delighted to receive this prestigious award.

Year 12 pupils enjoyed a wonderful and educational trip to Spain over the half term break. They stayed in El Puerto de Santa María near Cádiz in Andalusia for eight days, immersing themselves in Spanish culture for the duration.

Mr Hough, the Languages Coordinator at Bolton School Junior Boys' School, spent a productive half term in China, strengthening links with Honggangcheng Primary School and Changqingshu Experimental School in Wuhan, Hubei Province.

The Boys' Division Autumn Concert was a huge success, showing the diversity and depth of talent in the school. From poised renderings of Classical pieces to a Stevie Wonder medley, and culminating in a rousing conclusion from the massed voices of the Year 8 boys, this was an evening of music to remember.

Click here to watch a video of the Joint Chamber Choir performing 'Autumn Leaves' at the concert.

The U15 Netball team took part in the Bolton Schools' Netball Tournament, where they emerged victorious in their age group.

All of the Girls' Division swimmers did well at this year's John Parry Relays, but the U15 team shone particularly bright, returning with two trophies in their name.

Year 9 pupil Anna recently found out she has been reselected for the Lancashire U14 Cricket squad!

The Junior Boys' School was invited to perform at the University of Manchester as part of the Confucius Institute's tenth anniversary celebrations. Three boys performed Kuai Ban at the event.

Children and parents alike had fun and found out more about the Infant School at a special Reception Class Taster Morning this week.

On 29 November, the Girls' Division will host poet Lemn Sisay MBE for a free lecture, which is open to the public. This is the next of the Girls' Division's hugely successful series of Arts and Science evening talks.

Photo: Aida Muluneh © 2013 Addis Ababa

Friday, 11 November 2016

11 November 2016

Boys' Division pupils paid particular tribute to Old Boys who lost their lives in South East Asia during the Remembrance Assembly held on 11 November this year. Six current pupils recalled the life stories of the six Old Boys who gave their lives in this part of the world during the First and Second World Wars. The assembly also recalled the life of Private James Rutter, an Old Boy whose name had been inexplicably omitted from the memorial boards. A new plaque commemorating Private Rutter has now been added to the Memorial Staircase in his honour.

In the Girls' Division, poetic and musical tributes were offered during the Remembrance Assembly. Miss Hincks reminded the gathered pupils, staff and over 50 Old Girls of the events of 100 years ago, particularly the Battles of the Somme, Verdun and Jutland. There were also a number of poetry readings and musical interludes as part of this moving occasion.

Patterdale Hall has achieved the Association of Heads of Outdoor Education Centres (AHOEC) prestigious Gold Standard Award. This is a great achievement for the School's adventure learning centre in the Lake District, as the AHEOC sets a high bar for this award. The AHEOC also entitles Patterdale Hall to the LOTC Quality badge and the AAIAC Adventuremark.

Boys' Division pupils in Year 7 learned all about life in the Roman Legion from historical fiction author Ben Kane. Dressed as a Roman soldier and with lots of replica pieces of armour and weaponry to show to the boys, Ben talked about the realities of marching as a ember of the Roman army, drawing on his own personal experience of walking Hadrian's Wall in full Roman kit. The boys were fascinated by this informative and interesting talk. Ben also gave a similar talk to older pupils at lunch time.

The Junior Girls in Years 5 and 6 enjoyed a dynamic and interactive retelling of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, performed by the Young Shakespeare Company. The drama explored all of the main themes of the play while also allowing the girls to have lots of fun.

Boys in Years 7 and 8 have won a 360/VR storytelling competition run by Viar360 with their virtual reality tour of Bolton School. With help from Deputy Head (Academic) Mr Nic Ford, the boys in VR/360 Film Club put together a virtual reality tour, starting in the Riley Quad and moving through different areas of the School using 360 photos and videos.

The boys' virtual tour of the Boys' Division can be viewed here (select Panorama mode).

Children in Year 2 at Beech House, Bolton School's Infant School, held a swashbuckling pirate-themed assembly and invited their parents along to watch. Inspired by The Pirates Next Door by Johnny Duddle, they sang songs and told stories based on their learning about pirates.

Old Boy Haseeb Hameed was named as England's opening batsman in the first Test match against India. Just fifteen months ago, he was picking up his A Level results at Bolton School, and since then has had a meteoric rise to the heights of cricket fame.

Well done to Year 7 pupil Marcus, who was recently crowned the World Junior Thai Kickboxing Champion! He won his title in Benidorm over the half term break, battling it out against an older Spanish contestant in a dramatic final over five rounds.

Meanwhile fellow Year 7 pupil Will has come 2nd in the North West Trampolining Competition. He has been involved with the sport for two and a half years, and in his first year made it to fourth place int he national finals!

A total of thirteen Girls' Division pupil have been selected this year for the U18 Lancashire Lacrosse A and B Squads, including one girl who is just 13 years old. One of the pupils was also named captain of the A Squad.

Three Bolton School girls have also been selected for the U14 Greater Manchester Football Squad.

Over the half term break, Bolton School pupil Jack and Jos played for ESSA's U16 Water Polo Squad in Malta. They were coached by Boys' Division Head of Chemistry Dr Yates and an Old Boy, Stephen Walsh, was the assistant coach.

Bolton School once again was a category sponsor at the MEN Business Awards. The School sponsored the Young Business of the Year Award, and the Clerk and Treasurer Cathy Fox was delighted to present the award to online fashion business Want That Trend.

This week's Inspiring Mind is recent leaver Haseeb Hameed. His profile includes some of his cricketing successes since he left Bolton School just over a year go, and also an extract from an interview with Mr Compton, Head of Cricket.